Photo by Noriko Ohba/


A camera doesn’t need a lens. You can use a light-proof box with a tiny hole at one end. Congratulations! You’ve got a pinhole camera.

Pinhole camera effects are popular in lo-fi and retro iPhone photo apps. Camera+ has even tried to perfect it in the last two app updates.

Click past the jump for Smashing Magazine’s gallery of analog pinhole photography. >>>

A pinhole camera (also known as “camera obscura”) uses a tiny hole to focus light on a piece of film, CCD, or in ancient times a wall. Because the image follows the shape of the pinhole, photos sometimes have the rounded vignetting often reproduced in iPhone photo apps. Images tend to have a softer, more ethereal look. Another characteristic of pinhole photography is an infinite depth of field, giving all objects in frame equal sharpness.

A while back, Smashing Magazine ran a gallery of some pretty cool analog pinhole photography.

Camera is a remarkable piece of innovation. However, it is people — professionals and newbies alike — who make it truly remarkable. It’s the photographer behind the camera. It’s his imagination, passion and talent and knowledge of the medium. You don’t need a high-end costly equipment to get beautiful results. Just your talent and a way of looking at things differently is together more than enough for a great shot. It’s also the ability to envision the final result in your mind which is also important.

Click here to see Smashing Magazine’s “The Showcase of Beautiful Pinhole Photography” by Vailancio Rodrigues and several talented photographers. Be sure to check out the links at the end of the gallery. There are some cool pinhole photography resources there.